Thursday, February 25, 2016

Is It Time to Abolish the Board of Regents Yet?

The headline in The Journal News today:  NY to let undocumented workers become teachers.
Undocumented immigrants in New York will be able to apply for teacher certifications and professional licenses, the state Board of Regents said.

The board that oversee education policies in New York voted Wednesday to allow people who can't get legal residency because of their parents' immigration status to seek teacher certifications. They will also be able to apply for a license from among the 53 professions overseen by the state Education Department, including a variety of medical professions.
Today those who cannot get legal residence because of their parents' illegal immigration status will be allowed to teach (or become pharmacists, or any other profession licensed by State Ed Dept.) . . . Tomorrow it will be anyone who is illegally present because the rationale presented can be applied to them as well (see the legal memorandum linked in the article that justifies the Board's action).

The will of the people has been codified in our laws that have been duly enacted by Congress and the State Legislature. Both State and Federal laws prohibit this . . . but "caselaw is evolving" that seems to justify whatever those in power want to do.

Only legislative bodies can enact laws. Courts may strike down laws for one reason or another, but the act of striking down a law does not automatically make the opposite action an authorized one. The Board of Regents cannot, on its own, override existing law because its powers are limited by the state laws AS WRITTEN.

"We the People" are suffering another assault at the hands of the Board of Regents. 

No wonder there is so much anger at government and disrespect for law these days. 

The very institutions we have created to administer our laws are, themselves, lawless.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Apple Controversy: Involuntary Servitude?

It is amazing that in all the discussions over the government forcing Apple to create software to unlock a terrorist's cell phone, no one raises the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Amendment XIII Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Per Wikipedia:
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes involuntary servitude illegal under any U.S. jurisdiction whether at the hands of the U.S. government or in the private sphere, except as punishment for a crime: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

While usually thought of in terms of slavery, per the "" website . . .
Involuntary servitude refers to being forced through coercion to work for another.
Is this not what is happening to Apple? Apple is being forced through coercion (a court order) to work for another (the US Government).

Yes there are certain duties that have been held to be not included within the prohibition of the 13th Amendment, but they do not seem to apply here.

If Apple can be directed to aid the US Government, where is the limit to what the government can force anyone to do? 

I would be interested if any of my attorney friends could shed light on why the 13th Amendment seems to be left out of the discussion.  What am I missing?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Settling the Refugee Lawsuit: Politics of the Worst Kind. . .

Both the OD and the Syracuse newspapers have reported that The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees' Newcomer Program and the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Alignment of Pathways and Programs for Learners of English will be shut down at the end of this school year. As discussed previously on this blog, these programs were the subject of federal lawsuits filed against the Utica City School District by the NY Civil Liberties Union, and by the NY State Attorney General because certain 17-20 year old refugee students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) complained that they were placed in the programs instead of being allowed to attend Proctor High School.  [Note that the UCSD Superintendent's response to the latter suit echos my question of why the AG was bringing suit against an entity regulated by the State Education Dept.]

The complaining students came to Utica in their late teens, spoke little English, and appear to have been virtually uneducated having spent most of their lives in refugee camps.  Yet, somehow, they knew enough to contact an NYCLU lawyer, demand to attend the local high school as a matter of right, and complain that UCSD was denying them the opportunity to become doctors, nurses, engineers, etc.

Obviously a bit of "mentoring" was going on.

With the closure of the programs and sending the students to Proctor, the AG and NYCLU lawyers are getting their wish, the students are getting what they were told is best for them, and the UCSD will hopefully get these costly bogus lawsuits dismissed.  Everyone will be happy...BUT...

Are the refugee students really better off? 

If, like the complainants, you were 8, 10, or 12 years behind your peers in education achievement and did not speak the language of your fellow students, you would likely waste your time attending regular school because you would be unprepared for it. Without preparation, encouraging you to attend regular school would be educational malpractice!

It was my understanding that the courses complained of concentrated on teaching as much English and American customs and culture as possible to these students in their limited time left in the school system.  Because of the actions of the AG and the NYCLU, the students will lose access to programs designed to position them to assimilate into American society.

A political connection was mentioned in my NYCLU post and political motivation suggested in my AG post. Now the political objective comes into focus:

Preventing assimilation would create a permanent underclass that will always be dependent upon its political mentors.